DoE initiates outreach effort to address a Changing wind industry



The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of WINDExchange, a national engagement and outreach initiative that marks a new era of DOE's involvement in wind energy. Building on the success of DOE's previous work in this area, the purpose of WINDExchange is to provide objective information on the costs and benefits of wind energy to educate, engage, and enable stakeholders to make informed decisions about wind energy development in their communities.

Recognizing that the circumstances for wind energy development vary widely across the country, DOE also announced the selection of six Wind Energy Regional Resource Centers that will amplify and tailor WINDExchange's message to the unique challenges and opportunities facing wind energy in key regions of the country.

These centers, chosen through a competitive process, are:
-Northeast Wind Resource Center operated by Clean Energy Group and Sustainable Energy Advantage
-America's Islanded Grids Resource Center operated by Renewable Energy Alaska Project and Island Institute and covering islanded communities across the United States and U.S. Territories
-Northwest Wind Resource and Action Center operated by Renewable Northwest
-Southeast Regional Resource Center for Wind Energy operated by Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition
-Four Corners Wind Resource Center operated by the Utah Clean Energy Alliance
-Midwest & Prairie Regional Wind Resource Center operated by Windustry.

Launching this spring, these regional resource centers will:
-Provide accurate, impartial information about challenges facing wind deployment in their regions to aid in efforts to overcome or mitigate these challenges
-Use best practices in education and outreach to deliver this information to create an educated stakeholder community
-Work with decision-makers to ensure they have the tools to make informed decisions about wind energy projects and related policies in their jurisdictions.

In addition, WINDExchange will continue DOE's efforts to provide objective, high-quality information and outreach materials: wind resource maps; a bimonthy e-newsletter; webinars; podcasts; databases; fact sheets; success stories; lessons learned; educational programs; and the online Small Wind Guidebook and wind for schools portal. Finally, WINDExchange will provide new tools for stakeholders to better understand wind energy and exchange best practices, such as wiki-based resources that incorporate community contributions.